Dark Vengeance – Gauging the possibilities…

By now, many people have spent their first few days with the brand new Dark Vengeance box. The internet is abuzz with the discussions concerning the models and possible projects. There have been some very informative and helpful reviews, the usual, somewhat hamfisted propaganda on the part of GW and, of course, a magnitude of the seemingly inevitable “unboxings”. Some hobbyists (*cough*) have even begun showcasing their first painted or converted models.

After having spent a very enjoyable weekend sifting through the contents of the box (and painting the first batch of models) I would like to use this post to talk about some of my plans for all those lovely little plastic men. I already outlined some of the ideas in my first post on the subject, but in the light of my first hand on experiences with the box, some of those plans have changed, some may have been abandoned altogether, while still others only formed after seeing the models first hand. So let’s talk about the bigger picture, shall we?

First of all, let me say that my plan is to basically use up all that this box has to offer: Some of the models will be integrated into my different army projects, some may end up decorating my bases as corpses or broken statues. Still others will be cut into many different pieces and wait for better days at the bottom of my bitzbox. But all of it will be put to good use in one way or another. That much I promise you.

So let’s cut to the chase: Here’s a rather large post with my updated thoughts and plans for the different contents of the Dark Vengeance box, illustrated by lots of pretty pictures:

 

Chaos

It shouldn’t surprise you that the chaos models are very likely to find a new home in my World Eaters and/or Traitor Guard forces. In fact, I think that the chaos models alone are pretty much worth the purchase of the box. But what do I have in mind for those beauties?

Cultists

I already showed you the first three cultists I painted, and I decided that they needed some friends. So I set out to paint the next three. Instead of painting the same designs over again, I chose three different cultist — the duplicates will have to come later…

Again, my objective was to have these fit in with my other Traitor Guard models, so I stuck to the established colour scheme. I like to imagine that I was a tiny bit more succesful in painting these guys to fit my traitors this time:


I really love the gasmask on this guy! I even thought about a “Psycho Mantis” conversion while painting him. I also like the crude weapons some of these guys are wielding – like they had to improvise weapons from their regular tools or bits of machinery.

This next guy may have a different head and different weapons, but apart from that, he is actually identical to the guy above – albeit “flipped horizontally”. The only difference aside from the head and weapons is the added knife on the guy with the gas mask — I don’t think it’s too noticeable, though. After all, these are starter miniatures!



I tried adding some crude chaos heraldry on his scarf. A recurring element in my Traitor Guard. I went even further with this on this next guy:





Again, I love the mask. Reminds me of Kroenen in the first Hellboy film 😉

And here’s all three of them together:


Seeing these side by side makes it even more obvious that the cultists on the left and right are basically the same design, but again: Let’s not forget that these are starter miniatures. I already mentioned that I am actually pretty happy with the look GW chose for the cultists!

And here’s all of my painted cultists so far:


These are pretty quick to paint, so it probably won’t be too long before I’ll have ten or even twenty of them finished. I’ll mainly be these for 40k, so all of them will be painted in the colours of my Traitor Guard. That said, they’ll make useful cameos in games of INQ28 (or even Necromunda).
I will be doing a number of smaller adjustments to some of the “duplicates” (weapon swaps and the like) for some more variety. I’ll also add an icon or two, following my belief that every chaos squad needs an icon. Apart from that, though, I’ll be using these pretty much out of the box.

Chaos Lord and Chosen

Hmmm, these guys are a tougher nut to crack: My gut instinct tells me to just leave them for later. Granted, some of them could be easily inducted into my World Eaters, but maybe I’ll just hang on to them for a later project: a small Chaos Killteam for Special Operations Killzone, or some “counts as”-Characters for my Traitor Guard (I recently saw a World Eater used as Colonel Straken — what a cool idea!). The guy with the twin Lightning claws may be an exception, since I am simply too much in love with the sculpt, but apart from that, I guess these guys will keep for a while.

Hellbrute

Definitely the star of the show for me, I am pretty psyched to start working on this bad boy. As a matter of fact, I already managed to paint what’s probably my favourite part of the model:



This was actually pretty hard to take a decent photo of, and that should tell you something about the size: So much fine detail, and very easy to obscure… I didn’t do a job worthy of the ‘Eavy Metal team, but I am still rather pleased with myself.

I also really love the anguished and tortured face peering from out of the Hellbrute’s bulk, so I had to start with it. Apart from that, I am currently dryfitting the parts and looking long and hard at the stuff in my bitzbox to decide which changes to make to the original model.

I’m a little torn, since I really love the Hellbrute as it is, and I don’t want to do conversions on this guys just for conversions’ sake. Yet I feel compelled to make some minor changes… Let me talk you through some of my early ideas — any feedback on this would be much appreciated!

First of all, this idea came up while I was messing around with some stuff from my bitzbox:




I actually have very little inclination to use the Minotaur head, but I still wanted to show you this mockup, because I think if somebody wanted to change the look of their Hellbrute or didn’t like the existing head, this could be an avenue worth exploring…

This one’s based on a similar idea. I just couldn’t help it…






I’ll have to be honest with you: I just love adding Juggernaut heads to Dreadnoughts!
I also think that this could really work. Hmmm, I’ll have to think about it…

Let’s talk about a couple of other changes I am considering:



I am actually pretty sure that I’ll be adding an Ogre Kingdoms gut plate to the model’s fist, as an approximation of the World Eaters’ legion badge. The part is a pretty nice fit and covers the more generic “Eye of Horus” symbol beneath. I also really liked the effect of the legion badge on my first Dread.

Then there’s the Multimelta:


I quite like the fact that they gave the model a Multimelta, seeing how this is one of the last weapons missing from my little Dreadnought Menagerie. But I am not completely sold on those stubby barrels. I could replace them with daemon heads from the chaos vehicle sprue (like TemplarCrusade01 did to great effect in this interesting video) or replace them with a Lasgun’s longer barrels…I’m not sure. Any thoughts?

And finally, those horn-tentacle things may have to go:


I appreciate what they were trying to do with this, but as it stands, they only serve to obscure the model’s silhouette. I haven’t decided on this, though. I’ll need to consider it for a while…

Even after playing around with a couple of different options, I couldn’t forget that Juggernaut head. If I were to attach it at a more interesting angle. like so…



…and add a neck made from cables and a spine, I think it would look really cool. Then again, I love the Hellbrute’s original face and wouldn’t want to permanently obscure it by a conversion… This really is a problem! Maybe I can do the Juggernaut head as an optional, removable addition to the model? Let me know what you think!

Let’s not forget the other side of the spectrum, though! So, what to do with the Sons of the Lion…?

 

Dark Angels:

Whenever I hit a roadblock during my musings on possible uses of the chaos models, I relax by working on some of the Dark Angel models. Some, if not most of these will be really useful for my Custodes army!

Characters

The Company Master will definitely be transformed into a Custodes officer! It should be easy enough: Just add a different head (for example, one from the High Elf White Lions kit), a couple of bitz and get rid of some of the DA symbols, and you’re there.

I’ll probably save the Librarian for later: He won’t do much good in a Custodes force, seeing how psykers were pretty much outlawed by the Edict of Nikaea. He might make a great base for an Inquisitor, though…Hmm, I’ll have to think about this.

And then there’s the limited edition Interrogator Chaplain. I am somehow feeling a little tempted to convert him into a Word Bearers Dark Apostle…but it’s definitely not a priority at the moment.

Ravenwing Bikes

These will probably end up as Custodes jetbikes sooner or later. I’ll be using this excellent tutorial by Ron Saikowski (of From The Warp fame), although the conversion will probably end up being a bit more complicated compared to normal Space Marine bikes, since the wheels of the bikes from the starter box are part of the bike’s main body. Still, nothing that a bit of judicious cutting cannot solve…

Tactical Marines

To tell you the truth, these are a bit of a problem: The sergeant will become a Custodes with some minor conversion work. As will the guy with the Plasma cannon (only sans the Plasma cannon, since they didn’t yet exist at the time of the Heresy, I believe). His arms are completely separate, and he is sporting a rather interesting, older helmet design, so he will become a member of a power armoured Custodes squad (I’ll be showcasing some models from the squad soon).

The other guys are a pretty hopeless case, though: I doubt any amount of cutting would make them look like anything but Dark Angels tac Marines. So into my bitzbox they go. Maybe I’ll use them as statues in a terrain project. Maybe I’ll start a DA army one day. Maybe I’ll think of something in time. We’ll see…

Deathwing Terminators

To tell you the truth, I am already hard at work cutting these up. They may not look like it, but the Deathwatch Terminators make for pretty convincing Custodes Terminators in Pre-Heresy Cataphract Terminator armour. You don’t believe me? Here’s proof:

First up, an early test model for my Custodes Terminators I built using a Black Reach Terminator:


I had already abandoned the hope of actually doing a whole squad of these, since I did not want to buy a whole box of Terminators for what was ultimately more of a “why the hell not?” project. But then, the Deathwing Terminators provided me with more than enough willing subjects to build some more Custodes in tactical Dreadnought armour. Behold:


This is an assembled Deathwatch Terminator from the starter box. So I took this guy and began to transform him. Quite a bit of cutting was needed for this, since I wanted to keep the Terminators powerfist — the rivets are just screaming Pre-Heresy to me. So I needed to get rid of the shoulderpad. I cut off the entire arm, replacing the upper part with a regular Terminator arm. The other arm and torso front were put away for future projects, and I used all kinds of stuff from my bitzbox to turn this guy into a Pre-Heresy Terminator. Take a look:

Same model, ladies and gentlemen 😉

While I realise that the armour may not be a hundred percent consistent with the official artwork, I still think that enough of the visual cues are there to make this guy read as a Custodes in Cataphract armour.


I think the paintjob will do the rest 😉


As you can see above, I also built the beginnings of a Guardian Spear: The weapon was spliced together from the blade of a Nemesis force halberd, the shaft of a thunderhammer and a part of a Chaos Knight lance. I may yet add a Boltgun to transform the weapon into an actual Guardian Spear.


This first success motivated to try again. So while my second batch of cultists was drying, I took another Deathwing Termie…


…and got to work again. By the way, say about GW’s decision to make the Marines in the box DA’s what you want, the poses on those Termies are excellent!

Again, my objective was to transform this guy into a Legio Custodes Terminator. Here’s the result of that plan:


The conversion was pretty easy too! I cut off the left arm (with the chainfist), which can still be used on another conversion and removed the Terminator’s head (that was a part of the torso). I replaced the arms with parts from my bitzbox and built the foundation of another Guardian Spear. Then I added some bitz. Done!


You’ll notice that my Custodes Terminators don’t look exactly alike. The reason for that is that I am using different base models and have to make do with what’s in my bitzbox. Then again, I think it fits that those warriors should wear individualised armour: Each of them is a mighty champion of the Imperium, so I think it’s quite alright if their armour deviates from the standard design here and there.


In closing, let me just say that I am pleasantly surprised how relatively easy those Deathwing Terminators can be converted into something quite different! As long as you’re not afraid of making some bold cuts… And definitely don’t try this at home if your bitzbox isn’t well equipped! You’ll need all kinds of stuff to make these guys look the part!

And there you have it: You’ve seen all that I’ve done with my Dark Vengeance models so far! If you’ve got any questions, criticism or words of encouragement, drop me a line in the comments section!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

8 Responses to “Dark Vengeance – Gauging the possibilities…”

  1. Very nice work all around! I love how your cultists are coming along, been working on mine and I’m really enjoying the models. Haven’t started on the Hellbrute yet, but I do like the idea of replacing the multi-melta barrels with the chaos upgrade bits.

    Really digging the custodes you’re working on as well, looking forward to seeing more!

  2. Your Cultists do look brilliant! They’ll fit perfectly alongside your Traitor Guard. I’m currently trying to decide what to do with my Cultists (I just eBayed 20, rather than buy the box…for now!). I’m thinking non-chaotic, just bad guys, space pirates…

    • Cheers, mate! Just saw your post on the many different potential uses for cultists on your blog, and I have to agree: Those guys are basically the new go-to models when it comes to ragtag malcontents with guns 😉

      I am pretty excited about the rumours concerning a separate, multi-part plastic kit for cultists, though!

  3. That Hell Brute is great! I am dying to see it painted!

  4. […] of the box, and I am having quite a swell time so far. You can check out my progress so far here, here and here, in case you’re […]

  5. […] So, I also promised you a surprise model in the title, so let’s make good on that promise: After longingly looking at pictures of the new Helbrute kit in WD Weekly, I surprised myself by not running out to buy the kit right away, but rather grabbing that unpainted DV Helbrute I still had sitting on my desk and finally starting to paint that instead — and it’s about time, too, seeing how it’s been quite a while… […]

  6. […] a very distinct Heresy era look that isn’t all that easy to emulate with plastic bitz either (not that I didn’t try, of course). So again, these are very interesting as an alternative for both the resin Cataphractii […]

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